grass seed, especially that shaken out of hay.
small bits of the chaff, straw, etc., of hay.
an unsophisticated person from a rural area; yokel; hick.

Nearby words

  1. hayrack,
  2. hayrick,
  3. hayride,
  4. hays,
  5. hays, will h.,
  6. haystack,
  7. hayti,
  8. hayward,
  9. haywire,
  10. haywood

Origin of hayseed

First recorded in 1570–80; hay + seed

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hayseed

British Dictionary definitions for hayseed



seeds or fragments of grass or straw
US and Canadian informal, derogatory a yokel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hayseed



1570s in the literal sense of "grass seed shaken out of hay," from hay + seed (n.). In U.S. slang sense of "comical rustic" it dates from 1875. To have hayseed in (one's) hair was a common mid-19c. way in U.S. to indicate a country person.

The opinion of the court was delivered by Justice Hunt; the chief justice, in whose hair the Ohio hayseed still lingers, delivering a dissenting opinion (etc.) ["The Chronicle," New York, Nov. 12, 1874]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper